As a whole, Australia is becoming a nation of health conscious people, which has resulted in many being focused on eating more balanced diets as well as getting out there, getting active and exercising more. In this post we’ll take a look at 5 significant health trends in Australia and see what’s driving the uptick in living a healthy lifestyle.
#1 – The Importance of Health Insurance Is On the Increase
The Federal Government is always looking for ways to reduce its expenditure, and one area they regularly focus on is healthcare. While Medicare still exists and helps many Australians with the financial burdens of medical expenses, what it covers is becoming more and more limited.
At the same time the government is always finding ways to entice Australians to take up private health insurance policies rather than relying on Medicare alone. The cost vs. saving proposition can become heavily skewed in cases where patients are looking for procedures that are deemed ‘non-essential’. For instance, patients who undergo elective procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery, the price can increase from $3,500 for privately insured patient’s, to $20,000 for uninsured patients.
Australian health insurance is becoming more and more attractive as compared to the very limited benefits Medicare provides, as you get to choose exactly what you need cover for, and also vastly reduce waiting times for things like elective surgery.
#2 – Australians Are Living Longer
It was mentioned at the start of the post that Australians as a nation are far more focused on living healthy. This has led to people living longer than in decades past.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2017 there were more than 3.8 million Australians aged over 65, more than ever before in the history of statistics. That figure is set to more than double over the next 40 years, according to expert projections.
Now while living a healthier, more active lifestyle might help us to stay around on this planet longer, with age does come chronic diseases, health issues, bone and joint degeneration and more, so “living longer” also places more strain on health services as well as the financial aspects associated with receiving healthcare.
#3 – Wearable Technology
“There’s an app for that”.
We’ve all heard that catchphrase a gazillion times by now because it’s true, and the same goes for healthcare and fitness. There are wearable devices and apps that can measure blood pressure, monitor your sleeping patterns, keep track of heart rate and calories burned. Even things like diabetes and heart disease can be monitored by wearable technology, and Australians are embracing this technology in a big way.
Smartwatches are able to collect stats and data regarding the wearer’s general health and fitness and send that data into an app or a software program for further analysis.
People are more aware of their level of health these days and any consumer device on the market that helps them monitor and track their health and fitness goals will invariably prove popular with Australians.
#4 – Patients Are Demanding Better Health Care
As the population increases its knowledge and awareness regarding health, patients are demanding a higher level of healthcare; not just from the government or health funds, but also from the medical sector and healthcare professionals.
Patient experience is key these days to offering effective health services, and it’s not just the elderly making the demands. More and more people are expecting a higher level of transparency, sophistication in equipment and affordability of services from the healthcare profession.
As part of the rise in patient-centric optimisation, more patients are wearing mobile technology so their conditions can be monitored remotely, and there is more of a demand for certain procedures to be able to be carried out in the comfort of their own homes rather than in a hospital bed.
#5 – Australians Are Insisting On More Healthy Food Options
We’ve seen this happen over the past few decades in the fast food sector, with multinational giants such as McDonald’s adding healthy food lines to their fast food menus.
The Australian population has been pushing the agenda for more healthy food to be available for some time now, and that is a trend that’s on the increase.
Instead of a chocolate bar and a can of Coke for a between meals snack, these days it’s more like an apple and designer water, or a healthy smoothie or vegetable shake. Aussies want healthy options and snacks that are portable so they can be consumed on the go.